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RMW Collection of England and Great Britain

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1911 Proof Set

 

Here is an intact, pretty much FDC 1911 proof set. This was purchased raw in England and then sent to NGC for grading. One pice came back PR 65 and the rest higher than that. At least one in 67.

But what grabbed me is the uniform great quality and toning, clearly an original set kept together.

I cant say I know all that much abour Us coinage but I doubt you could buy say a single proof Barber piece, from the same period, in similar condition for what you would pay for a set like this.

17754.jpg

 

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This is what is called a short set, that is, without proof gold pieces included. Other sets did have gold included. I have a proof half sovereign of that year. This set was produced for the Kings Coronation year. the next set produced with any quantity was in 1927 and then another in 1937 for the Coronation of King George VI.

There are proof pieces from other years in between, such as the 1936 halfpenny I posted some time ago, but quantities of those are extremely tiny, maybe 20 or so.

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Very nice set!

 

I have a couple of 1911 sixpence proofs. There was something in the chemical composition of the cases that the sets were in which 'enhanced' the toning. One of my proofs has gorgeous toning. It looks like your set also has lovely toning.

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I am just speculating on this but I think there may be at least two factors at work to get this kind of toning. Pros who may know better can tell me otherwise.

First I think you are right that the cases the sets came in had something to do with it. Other classic sets of the period like 1887 and 1893 also often come gorgeously toned.

But I think we would also find that that currency pieces from that era also had colorful toning. I suspect that the sulphur from coal fired homes and factories in the period had a lot to do with it as well. We might forget that Britain was as shrouded in smog from coal fired everything then as China is now from its coal, indeed it was until well after World War II.

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That is an interesting hypothesis and one which is worth exploring further. One would imagine that, if pollution was a substantive factor, that the effect on toning would extend to circulating coins as well.

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I think it does. I have a number of nice coins from the period, all with good toning.

Way back when I was in college I dabbled with collecting good pieces. I was told that if I wanted nice toning, I should put a coin in a drawer for a period of time with some sulphur.

Coal has a lot of sulphur in it.

England was choking with coal smog in that time.

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